I'm inquiring about Lulu Xpress app for Shopify. If I am selling a book to be printed and shipped by Lulu Xpress, but I am also selling other books on my website (inventory that I have on hand that will be shipped by me), how does that work for the customer since the POD book and the other book will not be shipped at the same time? I will ship the inventory book right away, but the POD book printed by Lulu takes longer and is shipped by Lulu. How does the customer pay for shipping for two things to be shipped differently?
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It's ultimately up to you how you want to charge the customers for shipping. If you want the customers to pay for accurate shipping for the two separate shipments, you will need to create separate shipping profiles - one for your POD products, and one for your on-hand products, and set up the individual shipping rates under each profile. With this set up, if the customer purchases both types of products, the two separate shipping costs will be combined as one grand total shipping charge to the customer at checkout.
Here is the Shopify Help page on setting up shipping profiles:
Thanks! Has there been any customer feedback on this type of set up? Getting two different shipments for the same order - most likely one much later than the other? Or is it more of a worry for me than the customer? I'm worried about the customer experience. I guess one way to make the shipping free on the POD if someone buys the other book at the same time (if the economics support this). And then put on the description that the POD will be shipped separately. I'm trying to weight the pros and cons of using Lulu Xpress vs getting a bulk order of the POD printed and sent to me and I send out myself.
We were hesitant about using POD suppliers for the same reason in our store. With our POD products that we previously carried, we built the supplier's shipping charge into the product prices and just made shipping free for all of them.
You can put a notice in your product descriptions for the POD products that they ship separately, and may take 'X' additional days to arrive, you can put a notice in your cart, you can even put a checkbox for them to acknowledge that they read the notice....regardless, you will most likely get a certain number of customers that don't pay attention to these notices (or forget as soon as they check out) and submit complaints, or at least ask questions when one (or some) item(s) arrive and other(s) don't in the same shipment. Managing fulfillment from multiple locations comes with it's own unique set of both logistical and customer care challenges.
In our store, we finally decided that the benefits of selling POD products didn't outweigh these challenges, and have since only sold products we can fulfill ourselves. However, our situation is unique to our particular customer base, set of products, etc.